With competitive tendering very much the preferred route, a fair process is critical to ensure a client’s best outcome. A few points to consider:
- Administration team – what is their experience and approach, seek references from previous builders and clients.
- Find builders who are the right fit. An administrator must qualify the builders early; in areas such as; program availability; health and safety; project experience/capability; financial health; site inspections for quality; resource skills & training; insurance cover; memberships; client past experience i.e. references; this information will be available from a professional builder. Leaving this to the end wastes time and your money.
- Thorough design and specification detail, without this a fair tender comparison cannot be made – for example; timber flooring can start at £20 sqm going up to £250 and beyond – significant room for variations and future misunderstandings. For complex high-value projects, the detail is critical and must be handled early on, however, this is a whole other subject matter & discussion!
- Nominated suppliers – have all the builders referred to them or used a cost-effective mate?
- You want a diligent builder so give them a reasonable amount of time to complete the tender; if timescales are short mistakes will be made, costs guessed and good builders will probably pull out.
- Meet the builder. Lengthy complex projects are a relationship with highs and lows. Synergy and the ability to communicate is needed. Don’t dismiss offhand a builder who poses higher investment requirements, allow them to explain and present their case.
Unless the homework has been completed do not decide based on price and, make sure all the right questions have been answered.